Great Politicians

Surendra Nath Banarjee (1848-1925)
Bipin Chandra Pal (1858-1932)

 Chitta Ranjan Das (1870-1925)

Born in Kolkata of a Brahmo family, CR Das originally hailing from Bikrampur, Dhaka. His father Bhuban Mohan Das was an attorney of Kolkata High Court.

1st quarter of the 20th century was marked as the "Agnijug" of the Indian freedom struggle. The young generation took up arms & swore vengeance against the oppressive British imperialism. CR Das, a barrister suddenly entered the political scenario fighting to save Aurobindo Ghose from the hanging noose when he got implicated in the Alipore Bomb Conspiracy Case. His wit & powerful handling of the case was the reason behind Aurobindo's freedom. Born on 5th Nov 1870, he was highly educated & received a degree in Law from UK. CR Das whose life is a landmark in the history of India's struggle for Independence, was endearingly called 'Deshbandhu'. He was the leading Bengal during the Non- Cooperation Movement, & initiated the ban on British clothes. He himself set an example by burning his own European clothes & taking up desi (local, home made) Khadi clothes. With Motilal Nehru, he founded the Swaraj Party. Known to be the mentor of Shubhash  Basu, the imperialistic British administration tried to cool his heels many a times but could not tame his iron resolution & confidence. He brought out a paper called "Forward" & later changed its name to Liberty to fight the British Raj. When the Kolkata Corporation was formed, he became its first Mayor. He presided over the Gaya session of the Indian National Congress. Believer of non-violence and constitutional methods for the realization of national independence, advocate of communal harmony and champion of national education, CR Das died at the age of 55. He was the source of inspiration to many & so when he met an untimely death on 16th June 1925, Bengal writhed in grief. Though his legacy was carried rightly by Subhash Bosu, his absence was felt in each step on the way to a revolution. 

CR Das was also a poet and an author. His poetical works include: Malancha, Mala, Sagar Sangeet, Antarjyami, Kishore Kishori. CR Das also authored The Way to Swaraj. Brought out Forward and Liberty-two party organs and edited a monthly journal-Narayan.

Sri Aurobindo Ghosh

Sarat Chandra Bosu (1889-1950)

Son of Janakinath Bosu, a government lawyer from Cuttack, Sarat was an MA and Law graduate from Kolkata University. A successful lawyer of Kolkata High Court, Sarat joined active politics as a member of the Swarajyo party under the leadership of CR Das. Member, Bengal legislature, 1926-30, and 1937-46. Leader, Congress parliamentary party in Bengal legislature under 1935- Act; member, Congress Working Committee, 1937-39 and also of AICC; minister, interim government of India formed in 1946. Resigned from the ministry in 1947 to form his own party, Socialist Republican Party, in cooperation with Hussain Shahid suhrawardy to form a united Bangla. Elected to the West Bangla Swarajyo Sobha on Congress ticket in 1949. Closely associated with Advance and Forward, two English newspapers. 

 Subhas Chandra Bosu

The most legendary Bengali political leader ever. Mayor of Kolkata. Subhas Basu formed Azad Hind force to kick the British imperialists out of India. He was so resolute to drive the British rulers out of India that he even allied with Hitler to achieve his goal. Click here for more.

MN Ray (Narendranath Bhattacharya), CPI

Founder of Indian Communist Party (CPI) on 17 October, 1917 in USSR.

Comrade Muzaffar Ahmed (CPI)

Great Bangalee leader of the communist Party of India (CPI). Mentor and intellectual guru of poet Nazrul Islam.

Bidhan Chandra Roy (1882-1962)

Son of a deputy magistrate, Bidhan obtained his MD from Kolkata and MRCP and FRCS from Britain. Taught at Campbell Medical School and Carmichael Medical College, Kolkata. Made his political debut by defeating veteran Surendranath Banarjee at the provincial election in 1923 on Swarajyo party ticket. Became a powerful leader of the Swarajyo party after the death of CR Das and became its deputy leader. He was elected the Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation in 1931-32, the Vice-Chancellor of Kolkata University in 1942-44 and the Chief Minister of West Bangla from 1948-62. 

Nalini Ranjan Sarkar (1885-1953)
Tulsi Charan Goswami
Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq (Krisak Proja Party)

Born in 1873 Abul Kashem Fazlul Huq popularly known as Sher-e-Bangla hails from Chakhar, Barisal. Sher-e-Bangla had great contributions in cultural, economic, political and social lives of Bangalees. He was the first political leader to introduce free and compulsory primary education. He founded quite a few number of educational and technical institutions for the Bangalee Muslims: Kolkata Islamia College, Baker hostel, Carmichael hostel, Lady Braw Bourne College, Adina Fazlul Huq College in Rajshahi, Eliot hostel, Tyler Hostel, Medical College hostel, Engineering College hostel, Muslim Institute Building, Dhaka Eden Girls’ College Building, Fazlul Huq College at Chakhar, Fazlul Huq Hall (Dhaka University), Tejgaon Agriculture College, Bulbul Music Academy and Central Women’s’ College. Sher-e-Bangla also had a great contribution for founding the leading university of Bangladesh-Dhaka University. During his premiership Bangla Academy was founded and Bnagla New Year’s Day (14 April) was declared public holiday.

Sher-e-Bangla was the key national leader behind the emergence of Bangalee (especially Muslim) middle class. He appointed Comrade Muzaffar Ahmed and Kazi Nazrul Islam and the editor and assistant editors of the “Daily Nabojug” (The Daily New Age). The Daily Nabojug, under the editorship of this accomplished duo, became the most progressive newspaper of Bangla voicing the issues and concerns of our lower middle and working class people.

The greatest contribution of Sher-e-Bangla for the economic emancipation of the largest and the poorest group of Bangladeshi population, the cultivators, was the formation of the Rin Salishi (Debt Review) Board. To free the cultivators from the brutal exploitation of the usurers, Sher-e-Bangla founded nearly 11,000 boards around the country. Thanks to these boards hundreds of thousands of cultivators got their lands back from the ravenous usurers. His blessing was not confined to the cultivators only. He also introduced new laws (Bangalee Shop Worker bill) to protect the poor shop (retail) workers ensuring better employment conditions and holiday pay. Sher-e-Bangla was the first elected Premier of undivided Bangla. His slogan was “ He who wields the plough owns the land”.

On 27 April 1962, breathed the last the great leader of the Bangalees.  


A Hamid Khan Bhashani (1885-1976), AL, NAP

Great (Islamic) socialist leader of the poor Muslim peasants of Bangladesh. Founder of NAP (National Awami Party). A successful politician from the Deobandi school. His pro Chinese leaning made him very popular among the Bangalee Muslims.

Jatindra Mohan Sengupta (1885-1933)

Hossain Shahid Suhrawardi (1892-63)

Hussain Shahid Surhrawardi was born in an affluent Muslim family in Bangla on September 8, 1893. He was educated in Kolkata, Oxford, and London, and developed an abiding love for westernized life and culture. Highly intelligent, articulate, and perceptive, he became a leading attorney in Calcutta and one of the leaders of the Indian Muslim League in Bangla. He rose to be the deputy mayor of the city of Calcutta and a prominent member of the Bengal Provincial Legislative Assembly. Between 1937 and 1945 he served as a minister of Provincial government, and in 1946 he became the prime minister of the province.

Nineteen forty-six was the year of the Great Divide in the politics of the Indian subcontinent. The All-India Muslim League, under the leadership of Jinnah, demanded the partitioning of the subcontinent for the formation of a separate sovereign state of Pakistan. In August 1946 the League called for a Direct Action Day  to enforce acceptance of its demand. Suhrawardi, the prime minister, declared it a public holiday and Kolkata and parts of Bangla were convulsed by an orgy of religious violence. This was the most difficult period in Suhrawardi's political career. For a brief period he sponsored the idea of the creation of a separate sovereign state of Bangla. It was quickly rejected by both the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress. Suhrawardi now became suspect in the eyes of the Muslim League leadership.

Suhrawardi left India in 1949 and migrated to East Bangla province of Pakistan. He formed his own political party, the Awamy (People's) League and nursed it into a political force that swept aside the Muslim League in East Bangla. He now emerged as a leader of national stature in the politics of Pakistan, and his legal talents were much in demand in the drafting of a constitution for Pakistan. He formed an alliance with the Republican party and was called upon to be the prime minister of Pakistan by the President Major-General Iskander Mirza on September 12, 1956.

Suhrawardi's tenure of his powerful political office was brief but noteworthy. He devised ambitious plans for economic development, administrative modernization and a foreign policy of unwavering adherence to the nation's commitments to the Baghdad Pact and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. He declared himself to be a staunch friend of the West, particularly the United States, in his address to the U.S. Congress on July 11, 1957, in Washington, DC. His government fell on October 18, 1957, as his coalition partners withdrew their support. Later events forced him into political retirement. He died on December 5, 1963, in Beirut, where he had gone for medical treatment.

Suhrawardy left a deep impress on the politics of Pakistan during the 1950s and 1960s. Cultivated, urbane, and effective speaker in English, Bangla, and Urdu, an astute politician, and a man who obviously enjoyed the good things of life, Suhrawardy stood tall among the crowd of Pakistani politicians of his time.

Date of birth 8 September 1892, Kolkata
Father Justice Barrister Zahid Suhrawardi
Mother Khujista Akter Banu
SSC 1907, Kolkata Alia Madrasa
FA Saint Xavier's College, Kolkata (1909)
BSc Saint Xavier's College, Kolkata (1911) 
MA Arabic Language from Kolkata university (1913)
MA Political Science, Economics and English from Oxford (1918)
  Barrister at Law: 1920

Career highlights:
1920: Started practicing law at Kolkata High Court
Political Career: Commenced his political career as a member of the Congress
Member of Bangla Legislative Body: 1921, 1923, 1926, 1929, 1934, 1937 and 1947
1937: Elected the member of the cabinet of Fazlul Huq government
1946: Elected the chief minister of united Bangla
1947: Proclamation for the independent united Bangla
1948: Settled in Karachi after the partition
1949: Founded the first largest opposition party in Pakistan " Awami Muslim League" with Maulana Bhasani
1954: Contributed to the victory of the United Front in the 1954 election with Fazlul Huq and Maulana Bhasani.
12 September 1956: Appointed the Prime Minister of Pakistan 
5 December 1963: Died mysteriously (CIA involvement ? ) in Beirut

Ataur Rahman Khan (AL)

Bangla version

Ataur Rahman Khan was born on 15 September 1925 in the Charghat thana of Rajshahi. When he was only 14 years old he joined the anti British movement. A born rebel Ataur Rahman Khan was in the forefront of the three main political movements that led to the birth of Bangladesh and promoted the cause of social justice: Tebhagha movement, anti Ayub movement and the liberation movement. In the liberation war Ataur Rahman Khan was one of the key organizers.

One of the pioneers of non-communal progressive politics of Bangladesh, Ataur Rahman Khan hails from Rajshahi. The leader of Ganotantri Dal, nominated for the United Front of 1954. Khan won the election and became a member of the legislative assembly of East Pakistan. Paki rulers annulled  the ministry formed by the United Front just after 58 days following the election and put all the leaders in jail. So Khan was arrested and put in Rajshahi jail.

In 1957, Khan played an important role in forming the National Awami Party (NAP) under the leadership of Maulana Bhashani. About 5 parties joined together to form NAP: Awami Muslim League (31 MLA left AML to join NAP), Ganotantri (democratic) party, Lalkorta (Red shirt) party,  Pakistan Party (Miyan Iftekhar). Khan also played important roles in the anti-military dictatorship movement against General Ayub Khan, the Mass Movement of 1971 and the Movement for Provincial Autonomy.

During the liberation war, Khan was tortured physically and mentally.

In the post liberation politics Khan contributed to the reorganization of NAP and its policy direction. Due to his acceptance among the people of Rajshai and his friendship with Mujib, in politics, movements, in and out of jail, he was nominated as the Governor of Rajshahi under the new political program of Mujib known as BKSAL. People of Rajshahi unreservedly appreciated his appointment. But Khan’s contribution to the post war Bangladesh as the  Governor of Rajshahi ceased as Mujib was killed by the military. Khan was with Prof Mozaffar, a party he loved and was committed to the principals of until the end of his life.

Khan had a very amiable personality. Like Monisingha, the legendary leader of Bangalee politics, Khan was always polite to his political colleagues and activists and appreciative of their contribution to the national politics. Although he was involved in Pakistan politics, in his personal life he was always non-communal. He was always sympathetic to the leftist politicians. Khan was one of the few Awami Leaguers who opposed the notorious Two Nation Theory of Jinnah. Khan was among the few progressive politicians who initiated the non communal political trend right after the bloody birth of Pakistan. Khan, without any doubt, can be rightly called the trend setter of the non-communal politics of Bangladesh.

Khan was the founder of Rajshahi press club. This great leader passed away on 12 January 1980.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975)

Father of Bangladesh

Taj Uddin Ahmed (1925-1975)

Prime Minister of the provisional ( Mujibnagar) government during the liberation war and the key leader of our independence. It was Tajuddin's dynamic leadership, political vision, diplomatic aptitude and great personal sacrifice that led to the victory of Bangladesh in its liberation war against the Pakistani colonists.

Syed Nazrul Islam (AL)

Vice President of the provisional Mujibnagar government during the liberation war.

Kamaruz Zaman (AL)

Home Minister of the provisional Mujibnagar government during the liberation war.

Captain Mansur Ali (AL)

Finance Minister of the provisional Mujibnagar government during the liberation war.

Moni Singh (CPB)

Leader of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB)

Prof Mozaffar Ahmed (NAP-M)

Leader of the National Awami Party (NAP-M) of Bangladesh 

Jyoti Bosu (CPI-M)

Leader of the Communist Party of India (M) and Chief Minister of West Bengal for two terms.


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